The Rosetta Stone

In 1799, near the delta village of Rosetta, some French soldiers found a polished black stone inscribed with a message in three languages. One version was written in hieroglyphics (top inset). A second version was in a simpler form of hieroglyphics, and the third was in Greek (both are shown in the bottom inset). Since ancient Greek was a well- known language, it provided clues to the meaning of the hieroglyphics. Still, deciphering the Rosetta Stone took many years. In 1822, a French scholar named Jean François Champollion (shahm•paw•LYAWN) finally broke the code of the hieroglyphics.


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